Another advert for a TV programme that has caught my eye on the UK's Channel 4 this weekend is called Love, Life and leaving; and is a look at the importance of celebrating the seasons of life through ritual and in the public eye, hence marriages, baptisms and funerals.
I believe that we live in a ritually impoverished culture, where we have few reasons for real celebration, and marking the passages of life;
1. Are ritual markings of birth marriage and death important to you? Most definitely. Both inside and outside the church/sacred and secular varities.
2. Share a favourite liturgy/ practice. I truly enjoy baptism, but maybe that has to do with being a sucker for children in general. Especially the part in our liturgy where I carry the Babe out into the congregation for all to admire (the Babe of course, no one admires me that way)
3. If you could invent ( or have invented) a ritual what is it for? We desperately need a coming of age ritual these days, something beyond the first drinking binge or getting a driver's license or getting laid (hopefully these three don't all happen at once, that would most certainly be unsafe). SOmething to help move young people into adulthood in a healthy way. ALso those of us in tradtions that practice (will we ever get it right with all that practice?) infant baptism need a ritual to celebrate birth when baptism is not requested but something is needed. Thirdly we need a ritual around relationship for those who want to celebrate their relationship but not get married. THe church needs a way to do this.
4. What do you think of making connections with neo-pagan / ancient festivals? Have you done this and how? Honestly I have never given it a lot of thought. Mind you I think we do it more than we are aware were we to really explore the origins of our Christian rituals.
5. Celebrating is important, what and where would your ideal celebration be? Oh that is so dependent on the situation and circumstances. But small crowds would be a part for me. ANd either outdoors or at least partly outdoors.